There are many ways a team can win a basketball game. At a time when it was struggling, MoraBanc Andorra got down and dirty and dominated the offensive rebounds to pick up a crucial road victory.
Andorra snapped a five-game losing streak by defeating Mornar Bar 71-74 in its first-ever trip to Montenegro. Coach Ibon Navarro’s team won the rebounding battle 44-23, including collecting 17 offensive rebounds. Leading the way on the glass were Tyson Perez and Oriol Pauli with 10 rebounds each while recent addition Artsiom Parakhouski added 7 boards. Perez was relentless on the offensive end with six offensive rebounds while Parakhouski snatched four. Andorra made sure not to waste those extra shots and turned the extra possessions into 22 second-chance points, while Mornar was held to 0.
The effort in that category had been there all season as Andorra came into the game ranked third in the 7DAYS EuroCup with 12.9 offensive rebounds per game. But Navarro’s team just hasn’t been able to score much, eclipsing 71 points in just one of five road games this season. And Andorra just barely surpassed that number against Mornar.
The victory kept Andorra alive in the Top 16 Group H, in which both teams are 1-1, while UNICS Kazan is 2-0 and Herbalife Gran Canaria is 0-2. The win also gave Andorra a boost of confidence, knowing it beat the team that last week managed the difficult task of going to Gran Canaria and coming home with a victory.
"We knew that Mornar Bar was playing with great confidence, great energy with a lot of players in great form, great accuracy. They were destroying every team the last couple of months. They were able to beat Gran Canaria on the road, scoring more than 100 points," Navarro said. "We knew we had to control our turnovers, play good defense and control the offensive rebounds and defensive transition. Besides the number of turnovers (17), I think we controlled those other things and we did a pretty good job."
Andorra connected on 52.6% of its two-pointers in the game as well as making 19 of 20 free throws, which helped offset connecting on just 5 of 22 three-pointers. In the end, Navarro’s men found the way it needed to get the much-needed victory.